John was born in Lochem, the Netherlands to Gerrit Jan and Bep. He is predeceased by his brother Johan Gerrit, Bert, and Louis. John is survived by his wife Betsy, son Michael (Anne-lisa), grandchildren Christian and Benjamin, brother Henk, sister Bea and numerous nephews and nieces.
John left us on August 21, 2021, at North Island Hospital at the age of 88 years, to be with his son Christopher. Christopher was killed on August 19, 2003, in Baghdad, Iraq, while he was in charge of UNICEF, at the age of 31 years.
John was very proud of his two sons, Michael being first a heavy-duty mechanic, he then went to Regina to become RCMP. Later he worked in Oak Bay as a police officer and he also on his time off was a Paramedic. Michael is very handy, and his dad would say Michael has golden hands.
Christopher was talented in a different way, working with and organizing with children in need with UNICEF in different parts of the world. Everyone who he worked with loved him with his smile, just like dad.
John was so happy and proud when he became Opa to his two grandsons.
John emigrated to Canada in 1951 with his parents and siblings and settled in Dawson Creek, B.C.
In December 1964 he met his future wife Betsy, they were married in Dawson Creek June 1965.
John and Betsy lived in Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, and Mahata River (an isolated logging camp). He worked first as a baker and later as a Tyreman. After 17 years in Mahatta River, they bought five acres of raw land which we called “John’potential”.
John and Betsy worked very hard to make this space their dream place. They built their dream home and John’s shop. He was so proud of his place.
In 2019 John had a stroke, blind in his left eye, but with the help of Betsy things got done in a different way.
In the spring of this year John was in hospital off and on, he got home June 6th, but he was admitted again on June 26th and in the early morning of August 21st John left his loved ones.
The family want to thank the paramedics, Dr. Zorn, Dr, Daws, and the ICU doctors and nurses. The nurses on the third floor who took care of John, feeding him and giving him a warm blanket when he was cold. A special thank you to all the doctors on the third floor but especially Dr. Matous who kept Betsy informed.
Thank you to Bill and Val, Kim, and Kari; they were Betsy’s rock. They would phone and visit with her.
John wanted to come home; this was his wish. With the help of Toneff Funeral Services John will come home September 5th. We will celebrate his life outside in his lovely garden and after he will take his last journey to be with his son Christopher.
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